In February, I began a series of articles on the Three Steps to Rainmaking Success.
And once again, they are:
- Marketing: Creating visibility and becoming known as an authority in the field of law that you practice;
- Networking: Meeting people – whether in person or virtually – who want or need your services or who know people who want or need your services; and
- Rainmaking: Create Relationships in which you become the obvious and only choice to help them.
I have mentioned it before, and I am sure you have heard it in the past: “People do business with people they know, like and trust.” The “know” = Marketing, the “like” = Networking, but the only way to really build a solid book of business is to create “trust” and that’s the Rainmaking part of the equation.
However, trust is not something that just occurs immediately. You have to work to create trust and this requires credibility.
How do you create credibility and trust?
- Build your character: People with strong character stand up for what they believe in regardless of what popular opinion says.
- Be authentic: Authentic people do what they say, and say what they do. There is no mystery about their intentions. This applies online as well. There are a lot of people whom you can hire to write blogs, or social media posts for you. DON’T. First and foremost, you are risking an ethics violation in your state if they write something which disregards the Rules of Professional Conduct; second, people want to know your personality and the only way to do this is use your authentic voice on line.
- Have Integrity: You need to be known as someone who does the right things for the right reasons; that you will keep the promises you make. If you make a mistake, own up to it and try to correct it immediately.
- Be transparent: People trust what they can see. When you are open and honest, others do not have to guess what your motivations or intentions are.
- Communicate clearly: Always communicate clearly and truthfully. Keep the lines of communications open, particularly when you have bad news to share. And, please speak in plain English. The use of legalese doesn’t make you sound more knowledgeable, it only serves to confuse those who are not well versed in the legal industry.
- Learn to listen attentively: When people are speaking, give them your full attention, and ask questions to clarify anything that you don’t understand.
- Be professional: We all have had bad days, but you need to learn to control your emotions under stressful situations. Additionally, you must learn to respect everyone with whom you come into contact.
The three steps to becoming a Rainmaker – the “know”, “like” and “trust” or the marketing, networking and rainmaking, are interdependent upon each other. While you can become known as someone with knowledge and authority in your field (marketing), if people do not know you personally (networking), or the do not like or trust you (rainmaking), you cannot build a book of business.
Further, you don’t just do one step, then another, and then another and stop. Instead of thinking it as a stairway until you “reach your goal” you must think of it as a circle which continues to go around and around. The minute you stop marketing your services, or networking or creating those relationships, that’s when the referrals and clients dry up and you have to start all over again.